One of my best friends, Fitzie, is always on the move and always seems to be far away. But today I found a long letter from her waiting on the table when I got home. I love that she always uses thick paper. I love that even though she's a serious journalist she still uses colorful pens. I love that she writes in lists. I love that even when we haven't seen each other in over a year it doesn't mean we love each other any less. I love that she's always honest, about her life or mine, and I value her opinion.
Last week was all about family and rest and no real schedule but it was good to come back to these kids and find my place back in all this busyness again. I thrive when I have a project, when I can interact with people, when I feel like I'm making a difference.
I'm so thankful for these kids that are becoming the main characters of my life this year. While we were singing songs tonight I was looking at the front cover of the little songbook where it says, "HSE Young Life" and thinking that it's still a little crazy that this is happening. Crazy that this feels normal. Crazy that Chad and Kylie and Natalie and Shelby and Peyton who were my first students ever are now our YL kids. Crazy that a year ago this was something I was praying about and wishing for and now it's really happening.
I love that (at least so far) there aren't any seniors that will graduate this year from YL and we'll all get to keep living life together for several years. I want to keep being goofy with Madswag and Natty Brosh. I want to keep picking up girls after school and going to get fro yo and talk about the day. I want to keep having moments during Campaigners where something clicks for the first time or someone opens up that we never expected. I want to keep making God the focus of what we're doing because we all agree that's worth it.
Tonight we had kids fill out short little surveys about their experience with YL so far, we'll use their responses in a couple different ways. One question was fill in the blank:
I used to think ______________ now I think _______________.
I have to share some of their responses because they show the heart of what we're doing better than I could ever explain.
I used to think no one wanted to learn about God, now I think everyone wants to.
I used to think I could do everything on my own, now I think I should follow Christ.
I used to think that God wasn't always there, now I think that whenever and wherever I am he is there too.
I used to think these people would judge me, now I feel comfortable sharing anything.
I used to think YL was dumb, now I think it's cool.
I used to think I wasn't close to God, now I think I'm getting closer.
I used to think God was judgemental, now I think he is accepting.
I used to think my identity was in earthly things, now I think our identity is in Christ.
I used to think God couldn't use my because of my problems, now I think that's not true.
I used to think church was boring, now I think YL makes me day.
I used to think I wasn't worthy, now I think I deserve happiness.
I used to think if I sinned Jesus judged me, now I think Christ is always there for me.
I used to think YL wasn't a necessity to my week, now I think I can't miss it!
I used to think only serious church goers could be close to God, now I think anyone can be.
I used to think people would make fun of me for being religious, now I think it doesn't matter what others think.
I used to think YL wasn't going to be fun, now I think it's my home.
I used to think my life was okay with a small amount of God, now I think that God is essential to life and I'm not the same without him.
I used to think God ignored me, now I think he is working slowly.
I used to think I'm alone, now I know I have God and other supporters.
I used to think YL was fun, now I think YL is SUPER fun.
I used to think I didn't have time to learn about God, now I think you can always learn more and I"m so thankful and feel so blessed to have YL here for me.